Some words just sound really nice, irrelevant of their meaning; for example, dariole. It came up in the crossword the other day and I was surprised my husband didn’t know… I think he thought for a moment I was teasing because on occasion I’ll look over his shoulder and say something like ‘aspect’, or ‘diadem’, as if it’s an answer he hasn’t got… on this occasion, I wasn’t teasing and dariole was the correct answer.
A dariole is as you might guess the French word for a small, cylindrical mould, but it can also be whatever is cooked inside it, especially when it’s a dessert that is baked. The origins of the word may have been something to do with gilding a fancy dessert ‘dorée’ – peut-être pour doriole, de dorer : ‘pâtisserie dorée (au beurre, aux œufs)’ – perhaps to gild as in pastry ‘gilded’ with butter or eggs.
The French Wictionnaire says:
- Petite pièce de pâtisserie, contenant de la crème. (a small pastry containing cream)
- Manger des darioles.
- Coup donné avec la main ou le poing. (to give someone a thump with a fist)
- Donner, repasser, allonger des darioles.
- V’là que je vous y allonge une dariole (Le Casse gueule,1841, ds Larchey, Excentricités lang. fr., 1865, p. 105
- (Argot) Derrière. (slang – bottom, bum)
- Par les darioles, sur les darioles, par derrière.
- On a tout le temps les gris-bleus sur les darioles. — (Bruant, 1901, p. 157)
Apparently, the traditional way to make a dessert dariole is to line the little tin with puff pastry and then fill it with an almond cream which is then baked. it sounds delicious! I thought that darioles were like an egg custard with other things in them, and I didn’t realise that there could also be savoury darioles. The origin of these little delights go back a long way to the Middle Ages; it was common then to mix sweet and savoury ingredients (mincemeat used to have actual meat in it – now all that remains is suet) so in the past you might have found fruit, cheese, bone marrow or fish inside the pastry.
I first came across darioles when I worked as a waitress, many, many years ago, and the chef made delicious little cabinet puddings in dariole tins. I don’t have a recipe for them, but from the little National mark Calendar of Cooking, I do have a recipe for:
- 4 or 5 eggs
- 2 oz cooked ham, chicken, veal or rabbit, minced
- 1-2 tbsp cream or butter
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped tarragon
- salt and pepper
- 4 or 5 rounds of buttered toast
- but the dariole moulds (or ramekins or glass dishes)
- mix the meat and herbs, then coat the inside of the moulds with it, leaving a well in the centre
- break an egg into each dariole and sprinkle with pepper and salt and teaspoon of cream or a nut of butter
- place in a pan containing hot water to reach halfway up the outside of the moulds
- poach in a moderate oven until the eggs are just set
- have the buttered toast hot and ready and turn the darioles out onto it
- garnish with parsley and can be served with tomato sauce